The Bauchi State government has spent over twenty-seven million Naira to procure refrigerators for COVID-19 vaccines in the state.
The state government claims the refrigerators are to be used to store the 1,900 doses of the Pfizer vaccines that will be allocated to the state by the Federal Government.
These procurements were revealed by the Executive Secretary, Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BSHCDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed in an exclusive chat with Muhabarishaji.
He said the state government bought the refrigerators directly from the manufacturers at the cost of N10.5million each, adding that they were installed at the cost of N750,000.
The BSPHCDA boss informed that Bauchi State was ready for COVID-19 vaccines, adding that it had the capacity to even store the whole 100,000 doses being expected.
“All is well in Bauchi. When we heard that the Federal Government is to receive about 100,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine and it required -70 degrees, the governor of Bauchi State and his deputy called us that we need these refrigerators to maintain these vaccines.
“So we swung into action. We got the company that supplied -86 refrigerators. The two of them are here. We installed the two of them and they are working at -86 centigrade. The capacity is about 678 litres, each one. We have even the capacity to store even the vaccines that are coming into the country,” Dr Mohammed said.
“We made sure that the two of them were here even before any other states, even before the Federal Government. We have installed the two of them. We are prepared.
“Even if they bring the vaccines today, we are ready to collect it. We don’t have any challenge. We want other states to emulate what Bauchi has done,” he added.
Mohammed informed that to ensure that the vaccines are stored at the required temperature, the government equally bought two 10kva stabilizers to supply adequate energy to power the refrigerators.
He informed that the vaccines coming to the state are meant for health workers and other front-line workers involved in the fight to contain the deadly COVID-19 disease in the state.
“The 1,900 vaccine that is coming to Bauchi State is targeting health workers who are at risk.
“We have to carry out what is called mapping of all health workers in Bauchi State, particularly those managing patients at the isolation centres, those going to carry out tests, laboratory workers and those people in the airport. These are the people they have given us the guideline.”
Dr Mohammed lamented that the whole world did not anticipate that Covid-19 vaccine would be discovered and approved for human use by the World Health Organisation (WHO), adding that for that reason, there was no provision for the vaccines in Bauchi State’s 2021 Appropriation Act.
“There was no budget for corona vaccines in Bauchi State, there was no budget for corona vaccines by the Federal Government. The budget was passed without the anticipation that this vaccine is coming and is approved by the World Health Organization. So the FG is receiving this vaccine, they have to carry out a supplementary budget,” he said.